Flyers Cave, Bring Back Ice Girls After Fans Boo

Fans who booed when the Flyers eliminated the Ice Girls have their wish. The team announced it was bringing back the Ice Girls — to loud cheers.

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Last week, we wondered how long it would be until the Flyers caved and brought back the Ice Girls. Less than a week! Last night, during a preseason game, the Flyers announced they were bringing back the Ice Girls. Thus ends the most interesting saga of the Flyers’ offseason.

Tryouts are this Saturday, October 5th, at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey. Per The 700 Level blog, which has the same parent company as the Flyers and pays its writers better than the team reportedly pays the Ice Girls, the team cleaning up ice shavings will likely be a mix of Ice Girls and Ice Boys.

The team still isn’t talking about why it nixed the Ice Girls in the first place, but did tell Comcast SportsNet (also owned by the parent company of the Flyers, also pays a better-than-Ice Girl freelance rate) that “we listened” to the fans’ displeasure with their absence. “When Flyers fans voice their concerns, we listen, because they are undeniably the most passionate and knowledgeable fans in all of sports,” Flyers COO of business operations Shawn Tilger told NJ.com. It’s a good thing Ed Snider wasn’t in charge of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, or he would have shut it down before Dottie Hinson got the chance to do a split and get on the cover of Life magazine.

Some have speculated the team eliminated the Ice Girls because of a June Mother Jones article about the low pay ($50 for a seven-hour shift at a game) and mistreatment (being forced to wear skimpy outfits outside) of the Ice Girls. But that seems unlikely. One, the story didn’t make a splash; when I wrote about it in June, most of the reaction was negative — toward the “ice whores,” as one Facebook commenter put it. Two, the instant reinstatement of the Ice Girls shows this wasn’t done with much conviction.

Which means the Flyers actually Zamboni-ed themselves into a corner. Before, there was very mild grumbling about the Ice Girls’ skimpy outfits and low pay — and no movement to eliminate them or improve their working conditions. But by getting rid of the Ice Girls and bringing them back after fans booed a few times, the Flyers have managed to alienate their fans no matter how you feel about the Ice Girls’ skimpy outfits. Those who don’t like the Ice Girls but may not have really cared before are now be galvanized: There’s a Change.org petition calling for the Flyers to “treat our daughters, sisters, and mothers with dignity and respect.”

The Flyers have needlessly meddled and made the situation worse. It’s just like their goaltender situation!

[The 700 Level | Photo via Jenna]